Deer migrating by Joe Riis

WOW – Watching Our Wildlife!

Wyoming has a tremendous amount of wildlife and public lands they call home! Wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world come to Wyoming for the incredible viewing opportunities our state has to offer.

Big game animals such as elk, deer and moose – all plant eating animals – can be found just about anywhere their food source is located. Wyoming’s diversity of habitats also support small mammals, from bobcats to river otters. More than 400 bird species have been found in Wyoming, with ideal viewing opportunities in forests, national parks, and national wildlife refuges in Wyoming.

A few key places to spot Wyoming wildlife, include…

Yellowstone National Park is a wildlife paradise. You’re likely to spot plenty of bison and elk. If you’re lucky you may see gray wolves, black bears and grizzly, moose, bighorn sheep, coyotes, pronghorn and bald eagles, to name a few.

kid Grand Teton National Park has a diversity of habitats supporting a variety of species. You can see black bears, grizzly, moose, elk, coyotes, bison, mule deer, river otters, bald and golden eagles, sage grouse, trumpeter swans and much, much more.

Black Hills contain the highest density of big game animals of anywhere in the state. Rolling sagebrush breaks the Powder River Basin to offer ideal habitat for open-country wildlife like pronghorn, sage grouse, ferruginous hawks and golden eagles. The mountainous areas and deep Ponderosa pine forests are home to animals such as wild turkey to white-tail deer.

Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, north of Green River and running 36 miles along the Green River, boasts more than 220 species of birds and other wildlife such as big game animals. Waterfowl in the desert is the theme of this site. Visitors can drive, hike or kayak through the refuge.

Bighorn Mountains and the Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway (between Buffalo and Worland) provides views and access to these mountains that many animals call home. There is also the Bighorn Scenic Byway from Sheridan to Shell. Traveling on these byways you can see elk, mule and white-tail deer, coyotes, black bears, mountain lions, wild turkeys, sage grouse and bald and golden eagles.

moose

Medicine Bow National Forest, near Laramie, is another hot spot for wildlife viewing. Here you can see moose, elk, mule deer, beaver, black bear, bobcat and coyote, to name a few. The Snowy Range Scenic Byway offers a great way to view and access spots along the Hwy 130 for viewing wildlife.

Red Desert, in south central Wyoming, is a high altitude desert with a range of wildlife and vegetation. Animals to view include wild sheep, pronghorn and the desert elk. Ponds fed by summer snow melt attract a range of migratory birds such as ducks, trumpeter swans and white pelican.

Wind River Mountains, from lower riparian streams and wetlands to mountains that reach as high as 13,000 feet, there are a variety of habitats and thus wildlife in these parts. From pica to moose, these mountains are inhabited by a species both small and large. Other wildlife you may spot include elk, black bear and grizzly, wolves, mountain lions and a number of raptor species.

Coming soon, wildlife species profiles…provided by the UW Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society.